Closing remarks by Dr the Right Honourable Keith C Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Planning, Economic and Physical Development, Grenada, and Chairman of The Board of Governors at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank, Grenada Trade Centre.
“Distinguished Governors, President of the CDB, Members of the Board of Directors, Vice-Presidents and staff of the CDB, Delegates and Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
The past 4 days have been productive. Through the caucus of governors, meetings and seminars, we have engaged in constructive and thought-provoking discussions and valuable networking. Importantly, we have been solutions and results-oriented in our deliberations. Anchored on the collective resolve of its members, the bank is re-energised to support the region’s journey towards a more resilient and prosperous Caribbean.
Several useful insights have been distilled from our discussions over the past 4 days. I trust that we will use these insights to inform climate-smart solutions as we forge ahead to build resilience in all of its forms.
The 19th William G Demas Memorial Lecture addressed the important issues of institutions and social relationships that shape vulnerability and adaptation to natural disasters. In my opening remarks on Wednesday, I underscored the interconnected relationship between vulnerability and resilience.
We also learned a great deal from the 3 seminars. Importantly, the seminar on Financing the Blue Economy explored ocean solutions, as well as highlighted inventive financing mechanisms to support the transition to a blue economy.
The Air Transport Competitiveness and Connectivity seminar reiterated the urgent need for sustainable policies to improve the regional aviation industry to foster true integration and freedom of movement; while the seminar on Building Resilient Cities explored options for building urban resilience within the Region. Here in Grenada, we hope to be out-front in this very crucial area.
Colleagues, we do not have the luxury of having research done that does not translate into meaningful policies and actions to build resilience. I, therefore, encourage President Smith and his staff to develop an action agenda that takes on board the relevant policy recommendations emanating from all three seminars for discussion and approval at the level of the Heads of Government of Caricom.
In closing, I remind you that our Caribbean history is one of struggle and triumph. Our fore-parents and the generations that followed, up until this present day, have had to be resilient. Resilience is etched in our DNAs and as such, innately, we as Caribbean people have the basics of what is required to push ahead sustainably.
Therefore, with our own resolve and inherent inclination for triumph, coupled with climate-smart sustainable development policies, adequate financing, and effective partnerships, we can be well on our way towards building a truly resilient and prosperous Caribbean.
As we can tell from Mother Nature’s revolt, time is not on our side, so let us move with haste, and put the necessary measures and policies in place, and do the required work to secure the future of this our one Caribbean.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada, let me take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Caribbean Development Bank’s staff, both those remotely and those present here, for all the support given in organising this year’s successful meeting.
I also extend special thanks to the members of the local organising team, who worked tirelessly to make this year’s event a success. My staff at the Ministry of Finance, staff members of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Culture and Health, as well as members of the Royal Grenada Police Force, the Grenada Information Service, and the management and staff of the Grenada Trade Centre, you have all done your country proud.
I encourage all of our visitors to continue to enjoy the remaining time that you have here with us and do visit us again. I extend a special invitation to our Spice Mas, which culminates on 13-14 August this year.
We bid you goodbye and do have a safe return to your home destinations.”